Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, on Staying Social in the Golden Years

PamGrayBonaventure_SocialPam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, stresses the need for seniors to maintain and develop friendships throughout their golden years. By keeping a steady routine of social engagement, Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, says that seniors are more likely to stay in top physical and mental shape.

A Gathering of Experts: How do friends help seniors maintain mental acuity?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: A recent study showed that maintaining an active social life can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by more than 70 percent, which is a significant figure.

A Gathering of Experts: Is a lack of friends really more harmful than other bad habits?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Feelings of loneliness or isolation are even more harmful to your health than not exercising or eating right.

A Gathering of Experts: What overall impact do friendships make?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Friends have a significant impact on eating habits and exercise routines. Taking part in activities with other people is encouraging for those who might need that extra push.

A Gathering of Experts: What subject should seniors discuss?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Just the occasional round of friendly banter has a big influence on feelings of self-esteem. When gossiping in a positive manner about family and close friends, seniors come away with a sense of inclusion.

A Gathering of Experts: Isn’t gossip considered hurtful?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: It’s more about chatting and sharing stories. Just keep the subject matter lighthearted and fun, and stay away from more serious topics or personal attacks.

A Gathering of Experts: Anything else?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Discussing special hobbies or interests also makes for interesting and fun conversation.

A Gathering of Experts: How has making friends been shown to improve mental strength?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: When tested on a series of specific mental tasks, seniors scored higher if they said friends are an important factor in their lives.

A Gathering of Experts: Should particular types of people be avoided?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Surrounding oneself with positive people is a key aspect of senior living. It is best to avoid individuals who are quick to criticize or intimidate.

A Gathering of Experts: How do friendships improve a senior’s quality of life?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: An active social life often slows down the aging process and offers seniors a sense of control.

A Gathering of Experts: How do men differ from women in this area?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: The difference in genders is negligible. Although more reticent than their female counterparts, men of a certain age who discuss medical issues or personal problems with their male friends feel less alone or depressed.

A Gathering of Experts: Where can seniors meet new people?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Popular activities include dancing classes, swimming lessons and bingo halls. A local library or newspaper will reveal a wealth of activity options.

A Gathering of Experts: What about those who prefer exercising alone?

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO: Numerous art galleries, entertainment venues and museums offer senior programs tailored to their clientele.

Pam Gray, Bonaventure Senior Living COO, first joined the company in 2004 and entered her role as COO in 2007.

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